A Puritan’s Meditations of the Misery of Infancy


‘What wast thou being an infant, but a brute, having the shape of a man? Was not thy body conceived in the heat of lust, the secret of shame, and the stain of original sin? And thus wast thou cast naked upon the earth , all imbrued in the blood of filthiness (filthy indeed when the Son of God, who disdained not to take on him man’s nature and the infirmities thereof, yet thought it unbeseeming his Holiness to be conceived after the sinful manner of man’s conception): so that thy mother was ashamed to let thee know the manner thereof. What cause then hast thou to boast of thy birth, which was a cursed pain ot thy mother, and to thyself the entrance into a troublesome life? The greatness of which miseries, because thou couldest not utter in words, thous diddest express (as well as thou couldest) in weeping tears.’

Practice of Pietie, Lewes, Bayly, 1612.